The Definition of Law


Law is a system of rules created and enforced by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. Its precise definition is a matter of debate. Law has been variously described as both a science and an art of justice, and it serves many purposes, including establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes and protecting liberties and rights.

The academic study of law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry in legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Law also raises profound issues of ethics, equity and fairness.

Modern law can be understood as an attempt to bridge the gap between individual narratives and an external reality shaped by other people’s narratives. This gap is reflected in the poor concordance between Holmes’s definition of law and judicial practice.

Nevertheless, the definition of law is important. It provides the building blocks of a framework for analyzing the operation and development of law in practice. It also gives us a tool for judging the extent to which a jurisprudential system is able to meet its core objectives.

The principal goals of law are to create and maintain a safe and peaceful society, to provide for the welfare of its citizens, and to encourage productive activity and cooperation between people. In addition, laws serve a number of other purposes:

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